[MUD-Dev] RE:

gamaiun at yahoo.com gamaiun at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 2 08:47:23 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


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Original message: http://www.kanga.nu/archives/MUD-Dev-L/2001Q4/msg00442.php

On Tue, 30 Oct 2001 16:10:46 -0800 (PST)
"Koster, Raph" <rkoster at soe.sony.com> wrote:

> If we want to go on a crusade to fix something, how about we fix
> the fact that your average cartoon does a better job at portraying
> the human condition than our games do?

Why is it that the average cartoon portrays the human condition
better?  Are there no humans in those games, or do they not have
stories and longings they want to express?

There are two possibilities that I can see immediately.  One is --
maybe the games (or the players) don't want to express them? Perhaps
those games were created with a different goal in mind - to
entertain or to earn money, and not to express the human condition? 
Maybe the game medium is not appropriate for this type of
expression. Players certainly have other outlets, other sources for
'the human condition' - literature, film, television, friends and
family, diaries. Is it a necessary ingredient in games?  It could
be, but we need to examine our assumptions. What
entertainment/player retention value does this depth of content
have?

The other possibility is that the players _do_ need this depth, and
do have stories to tell, but our current games do not _enable_ the
players (and the game-masters/storytellers) to properly express it?
What enables other media (prose, poetry, comic books, film) to
express the human condition that our games are lacking?  What sort
of facilities does one need for this expression? Or perhaps the
problem is not in facilities, but in values? As in -- in the games,
there is no _value_ placed on good stories, but rather on gold,
experience points, status, etc?

Dmitri Z

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